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National Homeless Advice Service

Getting partners involved

A wide range of partners should be engaged with three strands in a preventative strategy.



Identifying young people at risk of homelessness and referring them to preventative services

In every local authority a significant proportion of those at most risk of homelessness at a young age are already known to local services in their early to mid teens or younger.

Children’s social services, education, health and youth offending services all have a role to play in ensuring that young people engaging in behaviours which contribute to early homelessness are referred to, or gain access to, the services which are specifically focused on helping them to avoid this risk. Communications and joint working, perhaps through a local youth homelessness forum, are important.

Specific partnerships might be developed in the context of local work to implement government programmes:

  • The Troubled Families programme is delivering services in every local authority, identifying and working with those families that fit the nationally set criteria:- Are involved in crime and anti-social behaviour- Have children not in school- Have an adult on out of work benefits- Cause high costs to the public purse
  • The UK Government’s report on homelessness Making Every Contact Count encourages local authorities to offer to support schools to identify young people, or whole families that may be at risk of homelessness and ensure that they know where to go to access support for housing and other needs.

This section looks at some of the approaches that local authorities and their partners are taking to prevent homelessness among young people.

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Working with young people and their families

Closer joint working is necessary to deliver focused preventative work between:

  • the agency leading the support package and pathway plan with young people and their parents, which may be a voluntary agency or a member of a joint-service local authority team
  • the agencies called upon to deliver the support which the family needs in order to develop a more settled way of life together, which may include health services, money advice, drug or alcohol services, youth offending teams and others offering specific support.

This section looks at some of the approaches that local authorities and their partners are taking to prevent homelessness among young people.

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Giving consistent messages and advice to young people about support and options

Awareness of preventative services, and of local realities for young people leaving home, need to be maintained among a wide range of advice agencies and others working with young people, in order that consistent messages are delivered, and young people are signposted towards positive support.

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